Janice Higgins (pictured outside Bolton Crown Court), then 33, seduced the boy during a game of strip poker at her house in Tyldesley, near Wigan, in 1993
A married mother-of-two had sex with a 13-year-old boy on top of a freezer inside a garden shed during a two-year affair.
Janice Higgins, then 33, seduced the boy, who was 13 at the time, during a game of strip poker at her house in Tyldesley, near Wigan, in 1993.
After Higgins, now 60, met the boy, now 39, through relative’s friend, they would have sex while her unsuspecting husband was at the pub playing darts.
The pair would also ‘kiss and cuddle’ while he babysat her children and after her husband had gone to bed, risking getting caught on numerous occasions.
But the affair, which lasted for two years and ended in 1995, stopped when the boy feared being teased at school after a friend found out about the relationship.
He went to the police last year after years in and out of the care system, taking heroin and trying to take his own life at the age of 19.
Higgins broke down in tears after admitting gross indecency and indecent assault this week.
She was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years at Bolton Crown Court, after claiming the affair began because her husband was abusive to her.
She was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years. It is thought she and her husband are no longer together.
Prosecutor David Polglase told the court: ‘There were occasions when they would go round to the house when the defendants husband was out.
‘She would have known he was aged 13 at the time due to the fact that he was wearing a school uniform.
‘She made a suggestion to the complainant that they should play strip poker. He admitted he enjoyed the flirty attention.
‘She was deliberately losing the game. She began by removing her top and he remembers her wearing a white sports bra, and he explains he got excited.
‘They played another game and then she lost on purpose and exposed her breasts.
‘There was a touching of her breast at her request in passing if he wanted to touch them. This lasted a few minutes. He was told not to tell anyone.’
Mr Polglase added that for the next two years the pair would regularly engage in sexual activity.
He continued: ‘He feels like he was told what to do by the defendant. Some time later he remembers the defendant performing oral sex upon him and making out this was a treat for him.
‘He recalls clearly that on another occasion they had sexual intercourse when the defendant was sitting on a chest freezer in the shed and she was penetrated by the complainant. He was aged around 14/15 at the time.
‘He also babysat for the children of the defendant and would sleep in their spare room.’
She was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years at Bolton Crown Court (pictured), after claiming the affair began because her husband was abusive to her
Explaining how the affair ended, he went on: ‘He was confronted by a friend and that friend told his brother.
‘He felt embarrassed and denied the matters as his friends would take the mick out of him. He then stopped contact with the defendant. ‘
The prosecutor said the victim’s mother found out and called him a ‘dirty sod’, but didn’t contact police.
He added: ‘Looking back he believed the defendant preyed on his age and vulnerability. He believes he was taken advantage of.’
Higgins later attended a police station and admitted being embarrassed about the fling and claimed her husband had been ‘jealous, possessive and abusive’ towards her.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the victim, now 39, said: ‘This happened a long time ago and has had a massive effect on me.
‘Following this I was in and out of the care system. I had bad days and I had an addiction to alcohol and drugs lasting years.
‘I started smoking cannabis after the sexual offending happened and that developed to me taking heroin. I became paranoid and anxious.
‘I denied it and was embarrassed about what went on. I feel that was what caused my mental health problems to get worse.
‘I became paranoid about what was being said. I attempted to take my own life at age 19. This affected my teen years. I had problems with relationships and sex.
‘Now I am in a stable relationship and I have counselling to assess my anger. I left school with no qualifications. I don’t want to be vindictive, I just want this to be dealt with.’
In mitigation for Higgins, defence lawyer Matthew Howarth said Higgins was a victim of similar underage sexual abuse between the ages of eight and 15.
He said she was in an ‘extremely abusive relationship’ with her husband at the time she committed the offences.
Sentencing Higgins Judge Andrew Hatton told her: ‘There was a very significant age disparity but the complainant whilst naive was a consenting participant.
‘He believed he was being taken advantage of and the problems in his life are attributed to this offending.
‘It is clear he was a young man with other life difficulties at the time also but I accept this caused the complainant some psychological harm.
‘In mitigation, the psychologist ruled she is likely to be suffering with ‘battered wife’ syndrome and PTSD.
‘There are exceptional circumstances to suspend the sentence. You must stay out of trouble.’